It seems today is the day for coronavirus updates. Now COVID-19 is a declared pandemic already there is a significant impact on our community’s work, lifestyle and public gatherings. Just today the PM has advised against “organised non-essential gatherings of persons of 500 people or greater”. Our state South Australia, in line with the rest of Australia, has implemented a suite of measures to help stop the spread of the virus and protect South Australians. We encourage you to follow the advice of health professionals. You can monitor the S.A. Health website and health.gov.au for accurate and up-to-date information.
We plan at this stage to continue our regular church services. Various programs within our church life may be paused and we will advise those affected. There is also specific advice we will provide to those involved in programs with children, youth, pastoral care and our elderly. As this virus is primarily spread through close contact, we will have the following precautionary measures to create a safe and healthy environment to gather for worship:
If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it from spreading to other people.
Please stay away from gatherings, if you, or those you close to you, are sick with flu-like symptoms.
- Monitor your own health and seek medical advice if you develop symptoms of the virus which include cough and fever;
- If you are over 70 or have underlying illnesses, please take extra precautions.
- People who have travelled through high-risk countries and health care workers or others who have been in contact with those with the virus are at greater risk of contracting the virus and they should follow the advice and directions provided by SA Health.
- Check our website for access to our online sermons and also a live stream of our Sunday Services.
- If you do not do so already, you might consider giving via electronic means. Further information can be found at upbc.org.au/give
Follow best hygiene practices:
- Practice regular and thorough handwashing with soap and running water (for at least 20 seconds);
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue (or cough/sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow);
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth or handling food until you have washed your hands.
- We will ensure there is cleaning of high traffic surfaces
Adapt our communal behaviour:
- The advice is where possible, keep some distance (about 1m) between others and avoid touching and shaking hands, especially if either person is unwell. This probably means fewer handshakes. Please do not be offended if someone does not shake your extended hand. This may be the new normal for a little while.
- To reduce their risk of exposure, personal visitation to the sick will be carefully assessed
The lack of toilet paper is just one indicator of our community’s anxiety. As people of faith, our trust in our great and good God strengthens us to live with confidence and hope even in difficult situations. Please join us in prayer. Pray for healing for those who are sick. Pray for peace for those who are isolated and afraid. Pray for wisdom for governments and health authorities in their decision making and responses. Pray for God’s grace and mercy in slowing and restraining the effects of the virus. And pray for God’s people to show love and compassion always. Christians have the opportunity to show the love of Jesus in practical ways to people in need. We can consider those in our churches and neighbourhoods who are more at risk or isolated and how we can generously love and support them at this time.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates regarding our church when the need arises. Please be on contact with me or a Council member if you have any questions or concerns you wish to discuss.